Public and Patient Involvement (PPI)

People have expert knowledge about their own health and illness. It is essential that this knowledge is respected and included in health research. This is recognised by international and national agencies such as the World Health Organisation, Health Research Board, Irish Research Council and the Health Service Executive. It also resonates with UL’s commitment to Community Engagement (Broadening Horizons 2015-2019).

The PPI theme was launched in the HRI in 2016 and is a cross cutting theme with Lifestyle and Health, Health Services Delivery and Technology Enhanced Health Outcomes.  The theme is led by Professor Anne MacFarlane, Professor of Primary Healthcare Research at the Graduate Entry Medical School. Professor MacFarlane established and leads the Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) research unit in the Graduate Entry Medical School, which has been designated a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Migrants’ Involvement in health research.

The objective of the PPI theme in the HRI is to develop capacity for meaningful PPI in health research. Current areas of work include:


7th Annual Public and Patient Involvement Summer School June 23rd to 24th 2022 Register now on Eventbrite 7th annual PPI Summer School Registration, Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 9:00 AM | Eventbrite

Our annual summer school is held in June and brings together community organisations, patient groups, researchers, students, health service providers and policy makers. The school not only offers a forum for discussion and reflection but also provides an important setting to network and build relationships. The plenary sessions and interactive workshops focus on a variety of topics including strategies to better engage with research partners and participants, how to improve data analysis, and methods to improve overall research performance.

This research group brings together arts-based and participatory scholars from medicine, nursing & midwifery, and the performing arts, as well as a leading NGO for migrants. Our vision is to develop increased understanding of the role of arts-based methods as participatory strategies for involving migrants in health research.

UL was awarded a PPI Ignite grant from the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council in 2017 to support researchers to involve public and patients in their research. In 2021, 7 Irish HEIs came together to form the PPI Ignite Network, led from NUI Galway and with UL as a Lead Site.

The work focuses on

  • Building national PPI capacity across communities
  • Embedding PPI scholarship into postgraduate and undergraduate education
  • Embedding PPI locally and nationally
  • Promoting PPI excellence
  • Building a strong national PPI network

The PPI Ignite Network @ UL has local partnerships with Limerick City Community Development Project, Care Alliance Ireland, the Health Sciences Academy, Health Research Charities Ireland and the UNESCO Knowledge for Change project

PPI Ignite Network @ UL draws on the tradition of participatory health research to promote meaningful involvement of the public and patients.

For more information, contact PPI Manager, Úna McInerney, email: or see

PPI Ignite Network @ UL Core Team Members